Inside the Comedian / Bad Therapy – Gig Review : 04/07/17

A sunday afternoon – perfect for Comedy. With tickets for only a fiver it would have been rude to not go. I haven’t been to any other recordings of ‘Inside the Comedian’ since the one I blogged about earlier so I was well over-due a show. It was also going to be a ‘double header’ with the new show from the gang that brought you ‘Do The Right Thing’ – Bad Therapy.

This recording was also at The Phoenix in Caverdish Square. Nice and easy to get to.


I got there a little early to try to catch up on some blogging but as I approached the pub I bumped into @AndyMC, @NealP55 and @MrPLitchfield. I’d not met Paul before but I had seen him perform as part of The Trap during All Day Edinburgh.

We went inside and grabbed a drink. It wouldn’t be long until the doors opened and we headed downstairs. Front row seats were needed and luckily no-one was challenging us for our primo seating.

Unknown to me Paul was going to be starting the gig and we would be treated to some Erotic fiction by his character Sean Goldsworthy, one of Somersets leading writers of erotic fiction. I think I have seen Sean before, but I’m not sure…it felt like something I had seen before, especially when we had the choose-your-own-adventure-erotic-fiction. The audience were in stitches all the way through. The 2nd CYOAEF sounded excellent however somehow the page numbers got muddled and the story took an unexpected turn at the end!

A short interval David Reed took the stage and Inside the Comedian began.

It is a hard balance to make in having a ‘comedian interviewing comedian’ discussion without it being too much of just one big inside joke and I think David Reed does this perfectly. By aiming to be more Parkinson in his interview technique it helps to bring the humour and over-the-topness of some of these interviews. The guest this show was Marcus Bridgestock. I saw Marcus a year or so ago at his show downstairs at the Soho Theatre and really enjoyed his show. He managed to bring the kind of improv skills that Inside the Comedian really needs. There was plenty of ‘yes and-ing’ and that’s what this podcast needs. The 8 legs of government was a path Marcus gave himself to navigate and he did so with conviction. David did point out that the last one would be all we’d be able to remember, Law, but then he also mentioned Gastronomy…. and  how the current government has forgotten this important pillar! The Podcast will be available soon so I wont ruin it at all for you.

After another interval Michael Legge took to the stage to introduce Bad Therapy. Michael, Margret and Danielle would be acting as a shirks to today’s patient – Doc Brown/Ben Smith. This was a new format for a podcast. Three people interviewing one person. The podcast was to be split into 3 parts where Doc Brown would be asked about his past, his presents and his future. Each section would be 15 minutes long and was sounded by an alarm to signal the end. In the final podcast maybe this will be tidied up however during this recording the 15 minute sections didn’t really mark the start/finish of past/present future. We had some interesting glimpes into the lives of all the people on the stage. People talked about actual therapy sessions – or even attempted ones in newsagents, hypnosis, and one of my favourite things – T25 volkswagen campervans!

The format of the show worked really well as an idea. Hopefully it will come across how enjoyable it was for everyone. The audience could tell the performers were having fun and along with his relaxed delivery, Doc Brown opened up and I certainly knew more about him at the end of the show than I did at the beginning.

When these are next being recorded, make sure you do get tickets.

Eddie Izzard – Force Majeure : Gig Review 17/03/17

Another day,  another gig. This time it was for Eddie Izzard. A month or so ago I got a tweet from Soho Theatre saying the was doing a  triple header of his Force Majeure show. I’ve not been at the Soho Theatre since seeing Pete Firman (the magician) last year. One I thing I noticed for Pete’s show is that they now do allocated seating at the venue’s theatre room. This is great news as you no longer have the mental queuing starting 15 minutes before the doors open as your tickets have your seat number.

The reason for the triple bill was he was going to perform the show in French, German and English. When I booked the tickets I checked over and over again to make sure I got tickets for the correct show.


The tickets I purchased were at the end of a row and when we arrived at our seats there was someone already in them. The conversation went like this.

“Excuse me, I think these are our seats.”
‘Yeah. I want to sit next to my friends and I have an extra ticket so I’m going sit here. You can have my seats.’
(he pointed to two seats in the middle of the row in front).
“No thanks, I think I’d prefer to have the seats I’d purchased.”
‘But I want to sit next to my friends!’
“I understand, but we’d prefer our seats.”

The guy reluctantly left our seats and moved to his seat. I go for end seats as you aren’t as squeezed and I can stretch my legs out in the aisle. Does that make me an arse for not moving? Its not my fault he couldn’t buy seats together. Anyway…this has little to do with Eddie’s show.

There was no fan-fare for Eddie to come out to, the lights dimmed and he walked out from behind the curtain. There was a rapturous applause immediately and the show started.

I remember seeing Eddie Izzard’s first video show and finding him hilarious. By the 3rd one I found his surrealism not to my taste. I still laughed but not as much as the first show. Unfortunately this show felt more like the 3rd show than the 1st.

He had already performed the show twice that evening, in two other languages, and that might have affected the energy her performed with. Some of his ad-libs didn’t hit the spot and occasionally his surrealism lost steam – “I’m a transvestite… a ……..skip.” – it felt like he didn’t have the confidence in the ending of the sentence.

I did have a proper chuckle at the death of Caeser, mainly due to the word play with the other characters in the scene. I also enjoyed the act-out of Martin Luther hammering his 95 theses to the church door. This was performed in German and the whole audience understood everything that was happening even if, like me, they didn’t consider German to be a language they spoke. The show started talking about human sacrifice and ended talking about olympic dressage and dressage horse burglars. Very ‘out there’ as a concept but there was much laughing through-out the theatre. The show ended and Eddie added a few words afterwards about staying engaged in politics and not giving up the good fight against those who want see the UK as a protective Island that doesn’t welcome people.

As we left we both were happy to have attended. We enjoyed enough of the show but would not have been happy to have seen something like this in a larger venue (with the larger costs!). I’m happy to have ticked off seeing Eddie Izzard from my list of comedy people to see. When we got home I shared a clip of Eddie’s Cat/Drilling behind sofa and then his DeathStar Canteen scene. These made me laugh LOADS and reminds me that he definitely has written some excellent stuff. I probably wouldn’t watch him again although if he does any warm-ups for a new show at a venue like Soho Theatre then I might buy a tickets, just as long as he hasn’t already done 2 other hour long shows immediately beforehand!


Spookywookycocktailhour & Inside the Comedian : Double Bill – Gig Review 27/02/2017

I really enjoyed the comedy impro – Criminal – the other week and when both David Reed & Danielle Ward tweeted they were doing a double-header I had to book tickets. Only a fiver as well! Great value for money.

I’ve not been to The Pheonix since All Day Edinburgh last year. Last time I came for an individual gig was probably a Pappy’s or Do The Right Thing recording. Its a big venue but underground and no wifi, in case that matters to you. Its just up from Oxford Circus (or down from BBC Radio Theatre – if thats a better point of reference)

I arrived with moments to spare and bumped into a couple of my comedy chums. We managed to grab a table right in front of the stage and I look forward to the evening. One of my chums asked if the music playing was Manic Street Preachers but unfortunately my music knowledge is a bit pap so I wasn’t sure.

Danielle took to the stage and explained the show would be in two halves – she would present Spookywookycocktailhour and then there would be an interval and David would be Inside the Comedian during the 2nd half. She also said she’d made producer Ben play the Manics so my chum was right.

Spookywookycocktailhour was in 3 parts. There was a short play, followed by a sketch, then another short play. The rest of the cast joined the stage – Abigail Burgess    & William Andrews.

Short play one involved the re-animation of a lady’s husband. As with all re-animation stories there was an unexpected twist with the recently revived that brought a level of mild peril to the proceedings. Abigail played the wife, William played the Doctor, Danielle the assistant and David played the husband and all were excellent!

The sketch was about twins. One of which was a grumpy french guy.

Short play two, Danielle explained, would be a farce. Who doesn’t like a farce? not me, I love the silliness of them! This play had a guest appearance by everyone’s stereotyped Northern Irish comedian, Michael Legge. It all revolved around an ‘end of life’ care home and a brothel. Who hasn’t made THAT mistake before?

The interval came and went with little fanfair. The 2nd half of the night would be Inside the Comedian. As an enjoyer of comedy podcasts and listened to well over 100 hours of comedians interviewing comedians, I did wonder how niche this would be. Chatting to one of my comedy chums, we weren’t sure if it was going to be a load of back-references to other podcasts/tropes that get repeated indefinately.

David took the stage and after a Parkinson-esque introduction to Michael Legge, the show started. David had a couple of sheets of pre-prepared questions/talking points but the star of this was Michael. Luckily his long career of Improv had him well protected and ready for the challenges that would be put his way. We heard about his Improv troop of 50 people, the Royal Variety performance, who he gets all his jokes from, and the interview ended on a bit of word association. David’s interview character worked really well and there were only a few times when he struggled to stay in character and failed to hold in the laughter caused by some of Michael’s replies. I am sure that there will be some smart editting by the team before this is released as a podcast however it just goes to show you should try to attend these shows in person.

there was a tiny interval and David was joined on stage by Tom Bell. I’ve not seen him before but we worked very well with David on stage. It started with learning about Tom’s time as a boat, the TV shows he’d work on, The Blind Panda comedy venue (in Hove, sadly no longer around) with its unique sunken stage at the bottom of a 90 foot hole with 5 seats at the very top, although one of the seats was on a ‘bungie jump’ type mechanism, Felicity Kendal (two very different sides to her) and ended with Tom reciting parts of the famous characters he has played.

The crowd went on an awesome journey for the night. The two episodes of ‘Inside The Comedian’ would be released as a podcast so you can enjoy them if you weren’t there. Danielle explained at the start of the night that her stuff is more just getting a recording of stuff for prosperity. There is a chance some might appear on Renaissance FM, but if it doesn’t then it will be released online at some point.

Like how the night started, at the end of the night I left as quickly as I arrived. I will get tickets to the next ‘Inside The Comedian’ and I wonder if it will develop further. Would people like something that lampoons the very thing that comedy fans spend months listening to? I was expecting to hear a choice direct quotes from other podcasts and I don’t know whether it was politeness, industry informal rules or it just not being the direction this show is going to take, that they didn’t appear.

I really hope it does make it as a podcast. Even 6 episode (3 nights of recording) would be great output. I do regret not chatting to Ben Walker at the end of the night as I really want to talk to him about how he got involved in the podcast recording business. Interesting to a small handful of people but as I’d be one of them, it wouldn’t be wasted on me.

See you next time, comedy fans. I leave you with some photos from Andy McHaffie. See if you can guess who was Michael Legge in his ‘disguise’!


Don’t Look Back Into The Sun….

Seeing as NewsJack has finished for the season, I don’t have anything to submit. Luckily the comments on my blog posts are mostly spam and good for a laugh. Usually I delete them when someone tells me the secret of SEO or suchlike however today I got this one.


Never before have I seen this. Just imagine, we don’t need to eat ANY food at all – just stare at the sun. Our eyes contain little things like the top of calculators – with a quarter of an hour blast we can be kept ‘full’ all day.

Now perhaps you may have heard that staring into the sun is dangerous but they have thought of that. Only do it early morning or late evening when God has activated the ‘Nightshift’ mode of the sun.

On the plus side, as well as the weight you could lose, you would also be entitled to a free dog AND a white stick. What is not to love?

Criminals Improv – Gig Review 27/02/2017

A few weeks ago something popped up in my twitter feed that caught my attention. I follow @MrDavidReed on twitter and he posted that he’d be performing at Criminal Improv along side Miles Jupp. Seeing as this is just down the road from me, I thought I’d go down and see it.

Being in That London, at any time you are never less than 6 feet from an Improv group. This one wasn’t my closest but was walking distance from the office and also an nice easy walk home. There was little excuse not to go.

On arrival they had a great selection of smaller brewery beers. There weren’t a million members of staff on the bar and the guy who took my order walked off half way handing my order over to the remaining barstaff who was already in the middle of serving someone.  It wasn’t all bad as I was also having dinner there. Monday Night is Burger Night and all the burgers on the menu were £5. I had the cheeseburger with a side of buttermilk fried chicken. The burger was cooked medium-rare and the fried chicken was lovely.

With 5 minutes before curtains up time, I headed upstairs and after having the booking checked (while also being given a loyaly card), I managed to grab a seat on the front row. It was almost completely empty in the front row which was strange as an Improv Murder Mystery isn’t going to be the place where comedians try out their ‘so what do you do?/where are you from?’ patter.

The lights dimmed and the two hosts took to the stage. @OhHiRalphJones & @joelgatehouse were there to introduce the night and also to get some ideas from the audience on the background of Lady Davenport, whose timely dimise (is ’30 years previous’ still timely?) was going to be investigated. She was murdered by a bowling ball, had a career as a flautist, and in her spare time enjoyed mole-hunting (I think – however this turned out to be just hanging about a mole-populated area). She was wearing a ballgown when she died.

Ralph & Joel invited the cast to the stage where 3 cards were offered and the non-detective players found out who was innocent and who was guilty. The compares left the stage and the action began.

David Reed – Mr. Bowling Alley, Viola Player, Lady Davenport
Miles Jupp – Eric (the conductor), Maude (Hot drink loving wife of Sam), Tramp who died, Ian Anderson (from Jethro Tull)
Sylvia Bishop – Sam (Owner of the Mole Collective and loving husband of Maude), Exceedingly high countered shop owner, Cello Player)
Joseph Morpurgo – The Detective Wilhelm.

What followed was an excellent story about how Lady Davenport died and how the characters were involved. We learnt about nacho cheese, we watched a man play a flute from both ends, a lady play a flute without holding it to her lips, detailed descriptions of how games of bowling went for Lady Davenport (STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! HALF-STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! and for the tenth frame STRIKE!……which gave another two bowls which went STRIKE! STRIKE!), Coffee Shops with unreasonably high counters, Maude offering hot drinks at all times – although we were lucky to be there during the installation of a soda-stream, and learning about the pricing structure of the Bowling Alley (£1 bowling during lunch, but £14000 after 3pm).

The best part was the set-up of Miles Jupp having to sing a song at a funeral. What would be more appropriate than a splendid rendition of ‘Three Lions’. Nothing. Nothing at All.


The whole show was ace from start to finish. During the big reveal/accusation at the end there was a little bit of mis-direction when a chair was accused of being the murderer….after-all a chair has 4 legs, the SAME number of legs as a bowling ball has holes! 😀

If you are based in London and fancy attending then Criminal Improv is held at The Millers on the last Monday of the month. Tickets were a reasonable price (£8) and I really do recommend it. The team do an excellent job and its good to finally see some long-form improvisation as before now I’d only seen the short-form of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Comedy Store Players, The Phil Jupitus And Friends : Improv Show and Second City. I’m even thinking of attending something like Austentatious or other performances similar to this.

Do you have a recommendation for some long-form improv I should attend? Or maybe some short-form stuff I’ll really enjoy? Let me know in the comments below. If its based in London then there is a good chance I’ll go see it.

A Comedian Changes Twitter Joke Seconds After Posting

(I realise the subject of this blog suggests something a lot more ‘juicy’ than what you are going to get!)

Gary Delaney posted a joke on twitter today at pretty much the same time I was on twitter. Here is the joke.

Great idea! I’m sure ‘fat balls’ (a type of bird feed) has been done to death as a topic. I know my girlfriend NEVER tires of me showing her my FAT BALLS every time I’m in Poundland.

However, while reading the joke I realised that the set-up was wrong. ‘Four calling birds, three french hens…’ lead on to ‘two turtle-doves’ so you’d expect it to be ‘2’ in the picture. Gary is a master of one-liners and so I’m not sure why he went for the feedline he did. I guessed it was a twitter character issue and left it at that.

Refreshing my twitter timeline got me the same picture.

Except he had ‘fixed’ the feedline. Now you are expecting ‘5 Something Something’ – the ‘joke’ is still the same but at least it makes a little bit more sense.

Rarely will people see stuff like this and it is only because I was on twitter at the exact moment he posted it that I saw both versions. I screencapped them for this blog post and so did write the blog post.

It obviously bothered him enough to change it and I guess it was for the same reason it bothered me. Nice that me and Gary are on the same level! 😀


All My Sketches In One Place

I thought I’d do a quick post putting all my sketches in one place for ease of reading.

21/09/15 – Explaining Stonehenge Purchase to Wife
07/03/16 – Syrian Business Process Improvement (BPI)
12/09/16 – Oh Glorious Nation of North Korea
12/09/16 – NHS Outta Time
31/01/17 – Baby FitBit
31/01/17 – Donald Petition
07/02/17- The Pop-Up Pop-Up
07/02/17 – Break Up Means Break Up
13/02/17 – Tescxit
13/02/17 – What a Hunt!
20/02/17 – Welcome to Brexit King

I will keep this updated and add stuff to it as I write.

Submission 14 – NewsJack – One-Liners

Its that time of the week again. I need to write some one-liners for a radio show that I wont appear on and they wont use. It seems like a waste of time really, but I still do it. I think I’d have given up ages ago if they’d not actually paid me for one of them.



As always a mixed bag from me. I struggled to find articles however I did think this morning that I’d not be submitting anything today and this week would just be the single sketch I submitted yesterday. However, due to a number of meetings being cancelled last minute I was able to throw together 3 ‘Breaking News’ jokes. The first one was after seeing a Pirate based headline. How could you not want to write a joke with a media Pirate/high seas Pirate punchline? So I did. The second BN was changed at the last minute as originally it started with ‘MPs have explained’ but just before I submitted I re-read them and felt it needed to be Jeremy Hunt. So it was. I do like including Jeremy in my submissions. The total Hunt.

I nearly didn’t have a 3rd BN however I saw the Linsay Lohan was ‘racially profiled’ at heathrow due to wearing a headscalf. I expanded this out to being ‘detained’ to help make the joke work. It is also very long for a one-liner but, as I always say, Fuck the Police.



Number Crunching was a real grind this week. All written 10 minutes before the deadline. There is a strike in London on the tubes and the headline was ’24 hour strike’ which was one of the few number based headlines I saw. Expand this out to the impact on workers and lots more people will be working from home. Lets pretend they only actually work for 24 minutes when they work from home. Its certainly not true for me. I work ace at home (*waves to boss*) but also I walk to work so tube strikes don’t affect me even though I live in that London.

The 2nd NC was another volkswagen headline. Not my strongest work and I find jokes about the emmision scandal don’t tend to appear in the show. Correctly so as it isn’t really head-line news anymore. But as sure as night follows day I’ll shoe-horn in a joke if I need to.

The final NC was a great joke…but I felt the wording just wasn’t nailed on. 4 years/For years needs an inflection for people to recognise them as different things otherwise its just 4 years/4 years which, although true, isn’t the joke I’m trying to make.

So the full number of one-liners this week submitted on time. Lets see if any are funny enough to make the performance OR the broadcast.

Welcome to Brexit King – NewsJack Sketch Submission

EU Brexit Dealings Could Lead to UK not getting the Deal it wants

Title – Welcome to Brexit King

(Teresa May & Boris Johnson are in a car going to order food from a drive-thru)


Brexit Burger:            Welcome to Brexit King. Can I take your order please?

Teresa:                       Errrr.. I never feel comfortable with these things.

Brexit Burger:            Hi! Welcome to Brexit King. Can I take your order please?

Teresa:                       I’d like a Hard Brexit please,with an extra side of financial institution HQs. (whispers) Boris what do you want?

Boris   :                       I’ll have the same please, but make sure you hold the refugees.

Teresa:                       So that’s two Hard Brexits, with the HQ Sides but ONE with no refugees….actually better make them both like that.

Brexit Burger:            And what would you like to drink?

Teresa:                       I’d love a Chablis!

Brexit Burger:            Sorry, that’s no longer included when you order a hard Brexit.

Teresa:                       Champagne?

Brexit Burger:            Sorry, that’s no longer included when you order a hard Brexit.

Boris   :                       (from back of the car) How about some Sangria!

Teresa:                       Ok, I’ll ask. Can we get two Sangrias?

Brexit Burger:            I’m sorry, that also is no longer included when you order a hard Brexit.

Teresa:                       What if we swap them for a Red, White and Blue Brexit?

Brexit Burger:            So you want to swap your 2 Hard Brexits for 2 French Brexits?

Teresa:                       No! No! No! I mean a ‘Best of British Brexit’.

Brexit Burger:            There is no such thing as that.

Teresa:                       Lets stay with the two Hard Brexits, with sides of Financial Insitution HQ’s and hold the refugees. What drinks can we have with them?

Brexit Burger:            If you order the meal deal you can have anything drink from the Full Hard Brexit Meal Deal.

Teresa:                       And what options are those?

Brexit Burger:            You can have a warm pint of Newcastle Brown Ale, a London Gin, or we can offer you some Irn Bru.

Boris:                          Iru Bru! Irn Bru! (Scottish Accent) Its made frum Gurders!

Teresa:                       Two Iru Bru then.

Brexit Burger:            Oh! I’m sorry. I’ve just seen that Iru Bru is no longer planning to be part of the Full Hard Brexit meal deal.

Teresa:                       Two gins then. Can we get one with coke and one with orange juice.

Brexit Burger:            The gins on the Full hard Brexit Meal Deal don’t come with mixers – we can’t allow anything to dilute the taste of a full hard Brexit.

Teresa:                       We’ll take them straight. We don’t mind a bit of tough medicine.

Brexit Burger:            Let me confirm your orders. I’ve got two Full Hard Brexit Meal Deals, with sides of Financial Institution HQs, both with no refugees but with some straight Gin. Now do you want a desert?

Teresa:                       Yes. We’d like to both have our cake and eat it.

Brexit Burger:            I’m not sure that’s possible with the Full Hard Brexit Meal Deals. I will need to check with my manager. Oi! Monsieur Barnier! Monsieur Barnier!

Michel Barnier:         Oui?

Brexit Burger:            Ils veulent avoir leur gâteau et le manger. C’est possible avec le Full Hard Brexit Meal Deal?


Brexit Burger:            Monsuier Barnier?

Michel Barnier:         hahahaha (stops laughing) – Non. Les imbéciles.

Brexit Burger:            Sorry. The Full Hard Brexit Meal Deal isn’t available with a ‘Eat Cake and Have it’ dessert. We have got some humble pie you could have?

Teresa:                       Do you recommend that?

Brexit Burger:            Not really, it tends to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Teresa:                       Ok. Lets just stick with what we have.

Brexit Burger:            So the total comes to £66 billion.

Teresa:                       Boris, can you pass me that £350 million a week we’ve been saving.

Boris:                          Gosh! I didn’t expect you to actually want it.

Teresa:                       Have you spent it?

Boris:                          I can’t lie to you Teresa, it never really existed.

Teresa:                       But I’ve promised people a full hard Brexit! How will I pay for it?

Trump:                        Hello pretty lady, do you need a hand? It’s a full sized adult hand and certainly not small like a tiny child’s.

Teresa:                       Not where you are thinking, Donald, I’m not that kinda girl!



Submission 14 – NewsJack – Sketches

Here we go again. Another week and nothing written until 2 hours before the deadline. Nothing I’ve written so far (as a sketch) has got anywhere near broadcast so I’ve lost a little a faith in the process.

Trawling the news websites today nothing really jumped out so I had a think about some of the other sketches that have been broadcast and they all seem to follow a similar pattern and only 1 or 2 of them actually could be said to be about a unique news story. For this reason I decided to just write a Brexit sketch (What? Another one of them with the millions of other submissions they will receieve) and I would then find a  Brexit news article to shoe-horn it against.

The theme of the sketch was to be ‘Brexit as a Burger King request’ with an idea of ‘have it your way, with BK’ structure. As usual it contains Teresa May and Boris Johnson. There is a guest appearance from Michel Barnier to mix it up a little. I decided to make him speak french. I thought it was a good touch and something to make the french speakers chuckle and people who don’t speak french will still get the joke.

Finally, another crappy ending to sketch. The NewsJack editorial team always suggest having your ended sorted first and then build to it but I never do and as such my sketches don’t finish well. Maybe it will impress someone in the writers team? Who knows? Who cares?

With no further ado (sorry for all the additional ‘ado’ I’ve prefaced this with).

Welcome To Brexit King